Congregations are encouraged to begin their own Prayer Shawl ministries. Ministries have been begun by individuals and by groups. Often the makers of shawls get together so prayers and fellowship are part of the process. The Blessing Center's primary shawl makers are also available to advise those interested.
Moderator of The Blessing Center Board, Phyllis Desch, the leader of her church’s Prayer Shawl ministry, is available to advise others about beginning such a ministry in their own church. Contact her through email@example.com
She writes about the ministry of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Xenia, Ohio:
“May God’s grace be upon this shawl…warming, comforting, enfolding and embracing. May this mantle be a safe haven…a sacred place, of security and well-being…sustaining and embracing in good times as well as difficult ones. May the one who receives this shawl be cradled in hope, graced with peace and wrapped in love.”
The shawl was draped over his feet while the prayer was said a few times over as he departed this life to follow the Light…
This was the beginning of a new ministry in Xenia, Ohio. The caring and sharing exhibited by the entire congregation of Westminster Presbyterian Church shows the Lord’s presence in our lives. Let me tell you about it.
Several people meet in the church lounge once a month to work. God is invited to be with the group, as a candle is lit and a prayer said. Business matters (such as the need for yarn and who will receive the shawls being made) are attended to as fingers are busy with yarn – weaving, knitting, crocheting. The church is blessed with many talents.
This is a prayer shawl ministry – one of a growing number around the world. Praying is done at various times – during the creation, as shawls are collected, when each is given.
Members of the congregation are also involved, who do not create the shawls. These are the ones who visit and pray with those who are gravely ill, have recovered, are mourning or celebrating or otherwise enduring life’s hardships. All receive shawls.
A shawl around shoulders is a reminder of being encircled in God’s arms. Having a shawl within sight is a reminder that Christian friends are following Jesus’ command to love one another.
This ministry began in February 2006. It was dedicated to the Lord’s service in the fall and the congregation received a Jim DeWall Memorial Lamb, which grazes in the church narthex! By years end over 60 shawls had been prayerfully distributed.
She shares these comments from shawl recipients:
the whole congregation was with me in the hospital.”
“The dark blue shawl reminds me of the friends I have at (this church). The gift is a celebration of my recovery!”
“It will help me out when I start college this fall.”
“Being familiar with the mission of the shawls has made it so personal and so loving.”
“I put it on while I was sick a few days ago and I was quite comfortable,” notes a new high school graduate.
“It will always remind us of the love and support we have received from our friends here.”
“It is the first thing we pack for our many trips to the medical center.”
Download the Blessing Center Prayer Shawl Ministry brochure.